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Pathogenic Variation in the Pearl Millet Blast Pathogen Magnaporthe grisea and Identification of Resistance to Diverse Pathotypes

February 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  2
Pages  189 - 195

Rajan Sharma, H. D. Upadhyaya, S. V. Manjunatha, K. N. Rai, S. K. Gupta, and R. P. Thakur, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru 502324, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Accepted for publication 23 August 2012.

Blast, also known as leaf spot, caused by Pyricularia grisea (teleomorph: Magnaporthe grisea), has emerged as a serious disease affecting both forage and grain production in pearl millet in India. Pathogenic variation was studied in a greenhouse using 25 M. grisea isolates collected from four major pearl-millet-growing states in India (Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh) on 10 pearl millet genotypes (ICMB 02444, ICMB 02777, ICMB 06444, ICMB 93333, ICMB 96666, ICMB 97222, ICMB 99444, 863B, ICMR 06222, and ICMB 95444). Differential reactions to the test isolates were recorded on ICMB 02444, ICMB 93333, ICMB 97222, 863B, and ICMR 06222. The 25 isolates were grouped into five different pathotypes based on their reaction types (virulent = score ≥ 4 and avirulent = score ≤ 3 on a 1-to-9 scale). For the identification of resistance sources, a pearl millet mini-core comprising 238 accessions was evaluated under greenhouse conditions against five M. grisea isolates (Pg118, Pg119, Pg56, Pg53, and Pg45) representing the five pathotypes. Of 238 accessions, 32 were found to be resistant to at least one pathotype. Resistance to multiple pathotypes (two or more) was recorded in several accessions, while three accessions (IP 7846, IP 11036, and IP 21187) exhibited resistance to four of the five pathotypes. Four early-flowering (≤50 days) blast-resistant mini-core accessions (IP 7846, IP 4291, IP 15256, and IP 22449) and four accessions (IP 5964, IP 11010, IP 13636, and IP 20577) having high scores (≥7) for grain and green fodder yield potential and overall plant aspect were found to be promising for utilization in pearl millet improvement programs. Identification of five pathotypes of M. grisea and sources of resistance to these pathotypes will provide a foundation for breeding for blast resistance in pearl millet in India.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society